Does booing Arsenal really improve Arsenal’s performances? An investigation.

By Tony Attwood

 “How useful is it to boo your own team?” is an article that appeared in the Guardian newspaper a few weeks after I started writing more specifically than in the past about the subject.

Of course that doesn’t mean that they have picked up the idea from Untold – it could well be just a coincidence, but it is not the first coincidence of its kind of late.   For example in May the Guardian ran “Crystal Palace: the Premier League team who are better away from home.” just a couple of weeks after we said, “Incidentally Crystal Palace’s home form is awful – and went on to explore Palace’s strange home and away records over the past six years.

And obviously these things are in the public domain so anyone can write about them, but it was interesting that the Guardian chose this moment to raise another Untold favourite: “What do people hope to achieve when they boo their own team?”

The piece suggested it is “something to do with disenfranchisement and frustration, but it’s not just that.” They then come up with several more specific possibilities such as

a) To improve their performance

Their guest sports psychologist Josephine Perry is quoted by the Guardian saying, “it is going to be very difficult if every time you step out on a pitch it’s made clear that people don’t like you.   So if you’re wanting to improve performance, booing is not very effective. What’s more, it’s so indiscriminate as to be confusing.”

b) Fans have paid lots of money to watch and will not stay quiet if they feel shortchanged.

This casts the fan as a customer who feels able to complain when he or she does not get what is wanted.

c) The Stillman argument

This says that booing Xhaka worked because “it had got him dropped.”   This (although the Guardian piece does not go into it) suggests that the vocal fans can become involved in who plays – something I find worrying because I am not overwhelmed by the insight many vocal fans have into team selection. I want the manager to select the team, not the North Bank.

d) The final straw

Here the argument is that booing is a response to players’ behaviour.  One might be calm and patient for a long time but then, for example, one player can’t be arsed to run back up the field to receive a goal kick and that’s it.  That’s the final straw.  Start booing.

In such a case booing is not about the player it is about the spectator’s needs and desires.  He’s been pushed too far, and one final incident – quite possibly of little importance in itself – just sends the spectator over the edge.

This belief suggests anyone can do anything if only they try.  It is of course total nonsense.  Great players have that attitude, but they also have remarkable ability in the first place.

In conclusion booing your own team is becoming more common, but by and large it is much more likely to hinder than help your team.  If you boo Arsenal they are most likely to do worse this time or next time, and players with a choice of clubs to come to are more likely to pick a club where booing is rare or unknown.

But of course we can’t expect everyone to understand that.

9 Replies to “Does booing Arsenal really improve Arsenal’s performances? An investigation.”

  1. OT: Liverpool 2 – 0 Watford

    Liverpool had 2 yellows to 1 for Watford, fouls were 9:4. Possession was 69:31, on target was 5:3 and off target was 6:4. So, most of the game was measured as Liverpool being twice Watford.

    Liverpool required a treatment which became a substitution, PGMO idjut sees nothing.

    Apparently VAR was involved, but it isn’t in the commentary.


    From some other comment in the news, it seems that PGMO is going to assist Vardy by giving him lots of penalties in what is left of the season.

  2. Great line ” I want the manager to select the team, not the North Bank.” I fully support that sentiment. I would also like the football on the pitch to dictate the result, not VAR. Assistance to Vardy and his team mates? Didn’t that happen a few years ago? No doubt Mike Dean will receive any trophies on their behalf. He might have to sing something other than “I’m forever blowing bubbles” like he did on Monday night to show his absolute neutrality before our victory which he could not prevent. He could be accused of trying to get Pepe injured by the tackles he allowed but that could just be my untrained eye.

  3. OT: Leicester 1 1 Norwich

    The commentary initially suggested that Vardy had scored (header), but commentary later changed this to an OG. With less than 10 minutes remaining, neither Vardy or Andy Madley have scored for Leicester. Madley gave out 1 yellow to Norwich in the first half, and3 more yellows (so far) in the second half. The fouls are 7:11, so it makes perfect sense that Leicester should have no cards and Norwich should have 4. Nearly every other statistic on the game shows the two teams are even.

    I don’t see any treatments.

  4. OT: Chel$ea 0 – 1 Bournemouth

    Cards are 1:2 with fouls being 9:13. Bournemouth only scored a couple of minutes ago. At 61m, Chel$ea inflicted a treatment on Bournemouth, the twit Scott notices nothing.

  5. OT: Leicester 1 1 Norwich

    Deep into time added on, Madley decides Norwich need another yellow (now 0:5). Fouls are 8:12. Madley ends the game before he can find an opportunity to give Leicester (and Vardy) a penalty.

  6. Madley booked goalkeeper Krul for time wasting in added on time and then goes on to add another 2 minutes to try and give Leicester a chance of winning the game.

    Interesting times with VAR and pigmob in focus.

  7. I think the North End Bank of the Arsenal home supporters stands in the Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium can if needs be or when they see it deemed fit to act negatively to achieve positivity for the club after their being overpatience to endure watching mediocrity performances in Arsenal matches by a particular Gunner or by some Gunners could if they can no longer bear it will through their booing and protesting that are their deadly weapons that they have to unleashed against the club’s hierarchy, the head coach and any Gunners for that matter could emboldened they the Gooners to attempt to co-select the next Arsenal team with the club’s head coach that will play in the club’s next match in the PL by deploying their booing and protesting weapons into action inside the Emulate Stadium that could in the extreme case includes the boycotting of Arsenal Premier League home matches inside the Emirates Stadium as a final resort to press home their demands to see a particular Gunner or Gunners dropped by the head coach in the club’s next Premier League matches at home and away after they have condemned the Gunner or Gunners through booing him or them for his or their gross underperformances in Arsenal matches in the PL that is seeing the club stagnated in the table going up and down out of the top-four placed club sides that are currently there. And also have seen the club regressed in winning one or two or even the whole three titles of the: Carabao Cup, the PL, the ELC or the UCL as the case may be.

    Therefore, it’s no longer the question of why? When a Gunner or Gunners is or are seen booed off almost the park in the Emirates Stadium by the Emirates Stadium Arsenal match watching Gooners that could see the Gunners head coach give in to pressure mounted on him by the Gooners demands to drop a particular Gunner or some Gunners from playing for Arsenal in their next matches to teach such underperforming Gunner or Gunners a hard lesson to wake up from sleeping for Arsenal in his performances in matches for the club.

  8. Brighton players were vocal with their opinion that The Arsenal(Home/Emirates)fans turning on their own team helped them (Brighton) win. They also said they knew the home fans would turn on their own team. Ooops!

    Just like so many areas in life where we might under-perform, at school, in faith, spending habits, as parents etc. Yelling your disapproval, disparaging or disgracing the other party is not known to bring any sustained improvement. In fact it just makes things worse.

    The EMIRATES should be a FORTRESS ….. visiting teams come with NOTHING and MUST leave with NOTHING.

    There are some stadiums across Europe belonging to “not so big” clubs where so called big teams do not relish visiting.

    I wonder why……

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